The Physicist’s Conception of Nature

  • Jagdish Mehra

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXIV
  2. Development of the Physicist’s Conception of Nature

  3. Space, Time, and Geometry

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Dennis W. Sciama
      Pages 17-33
    3. Pascual Jordan
      Pages 60-70
    4. Jürgen Ehlers
      Pages 71-91
    5. Andrzej Trautman
      Pages 179-201
    6. John Archibald Wheeler
      Pages 202-247
  4. Quantum Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 249-249
    2. Léon Rosenfeld
      Pages 251-263
    3. Eugene P. Wigner
      Pages 320-330
    4. Rudolf E. Peierls
      Pages 370-379

About this book


The fundamental conceptions of twentieth-century physics have profoundly influenced almost every field of modern thought and activity. Quantum Theory, Relativity, and the modern ideas on the Structure of Matter have contributed to a deeper understand­ ing of Nature, and they will probably rank in history among the greatest intellectual achievements of all time. The purpose of our symposium was to review, in historical perspective, the current horizons of the major conceptual structures of the physics of this century. Professors Abdus Salam and Hendrik Casimir, in their remarks at the opening of the symposium, have referred to its origin and planning. Our original plan was to hold a two-week symposium on the different aspects of five principal themes: 1. Space, Time and Geometry (including the structure of the universe and the theory of gravita­ tion),2. Quantum Theory (including the development of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory), 3. Statistical Description of Nature (including the discussion of equilibrium and non-equilibrium phenomena, and the application of these ideas to the evolution of biological structure), 4. The Structure of Matter (including the discus­ sion, in a unified perspective, of atoms, molecules, nuclei, elementary particles, and the physics of condensed matter), and finally, 5. Physical Description and Epistemo­ logy (including the distinction between classical and quantum descriptions, and the epistemological and philosophical problems raised by them).


Albert Einstein electrodynamics field theory geometry mechanics molecule particle physics physics quantum field theory quantum mechanics quantum theory relativity statistical physics theory of relativity universe

Editors and affiliations

  • Jagdish Mehra
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1973
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-2604-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-2602-4
  • About this book